ホークスは､ 米国ノースカロライナ出身の牧師である｡ ペリーは米国海軍軍人で1851年 (嘉永4) に東インド艦隊司令長官となり､ 対日開国交渉のため大統領フィルモアの国書をもって1853年 (嘉永6) 浦賀に来航し､ 翌年日米和親条約に調印した｡ 本書は当時のアメリカ政府より刊行の依頼を受け､ 編集はホークスがあたり､ ペリーが監修して3巻に分けて出版された｡ 琉球及び日本までの航海記や日本の地形､ 北海道誌､ さらには通商予測などを記述している｡|
The squadron referred to in the title is that under the command of Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858). In 1853 Commodore Perry, having been ordered to negotiate for the opening of Japan to foreign trade, arrived off Uraga. Impressed by his show of force, the Japanese government complied with his request, and in the following year he returned to sign the treaty of alliance between Japan and the United States of America. On his return he was charged with the compiling of a record of his voyage. The result was the present work, compiled from the original notes of Commodore Perry and his officers and published in 1856 under the editorship of Francis Hawks, a minister at the Calvery Church in New York.